Getting called to work an extra day because of short staffing...

  1. I've been an RN for 6 months now. I work 12 hour shifts. This weekend I'm going to work a three 12 hour shifts in a row. I'm working 5 days this week all in all. I just got back from working 2 days in a row so far this week. Now I get this call for the first time in my nursing career, and the charge rn left a message to see if I am willing to work tonite because they are short staff since people called in sick.

    Anyways, my delimma is how should I go about this? I want to help out because I know how difficult it is to be assigned with so many patients, and there are not enough nurses. Then again, you know, I'm tired, I only got 4 hours of sleep so far today, and I'm working again this weekend for 3 days. How do you folks handle this situation when u get called in to to work extra day because of short staffing? I'm new to this kind of situation, and I jus want to hear your take on it.
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    You've worked enough. Ignore the call and don't call back and enjoy your night off.

    I often get calls to help out and 99.99999% of the time I ignore them. I do schedule overtime, but it fits my life and schedule well, and I know in advance when I'm working.

    You can't let this kind of thing bother you. You have to learn to ignore them or learn to say no........without guilt. It gets easier.
  4. by   Sue Damonas
    I second that!!
  5. by   rn/writer
    Oh my! If you get tagged as someone who has an easy-to-push guilt button, you will be working your tail off.

    Seriously, this is THEIR problem, not yours. If they need to call in support staff or agency, let them do it. This is how unit managers figure out they need to hire more people. The operative word is NEED. If you spread yourself too thin, they don't need to hire more nurses because you've enabled them not to.

    Stay home. Enjoy your time off so you don't burn out.
  6. by   meownsmile
    Nope your plate is full for the week. I wouldnt bother even acknowledging this call. And they probly dont expect you to either. They have the nasty job of trying to call and get SOMEONE to come in, but it doesnt mean they expect it with the schedule you have this week. Get some sleep.

    And really if they are that short,, they just may have to get the nurse manager to take some patients and work a night shift.
  7. by   clemmm78
    Nope. One thing it took me too long to learn is that it wasn't my fault if they didn't have the proper staffing. It's hard not to feel badly for the staff on the floor, but it would be foolish for us to burn ourselves out and then we won't ever be there to help our coworkers.

    Stick to your guns, don't return the call. You have plans. They may be to sleep or to relax, but they are *plans*.
  8. by   Mulan
    Quote from meownsmile
    .

    And really if they are that short,, they just may have to get the nurse manager to take some patients and work a night shift.

    :roll

    As if that would ever happen around here! I wish!

    Just tell them, no, I can't, you don't have to give them a reason why.
  9. by   jetscreamer101
    :yeahthat:
    Quote from rn/writer
    Oh my! If you get tagged as someone who has an easy-to-push guilt button, you will be working your tail off.

    Seriously, this is THEIR problem, not yours. If they need to call in support staff or agency, let them do it. This is how unit managers figure out they need to hire more people. The operative word is NEED. If you spread yourself too thin, they don't need to hire more nurses because you've enabled them not to.

    Stay home. Enjoy your time off so you don't burn out.

    :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
  10. by   meownsmile
    Mulan,, it has happened where i work. Fact is, if there isnt enough staff for some similance of safe care our NM will and do come in and take patients. No it doesnt happen very often but it does happen.
  11. by   Chaya
    When our place is really short they take whatever you can offer. We can often get someone to come in for half a shift or whatever they can manage and help out by doing treatments, taking off orders, etc. Makes it more managable for everyone, and people are more willing to come in extra if they don't have to cover a full shift and take an assignment. This works out well where I work but might cause payroll issues in another place.
  12. by   nuangel1
    if you don't want to work don't work.ignore the calls .and enjoy the day off.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Practice now:

    NO, sorry I can't do that.

    And then hang up.
  14. by   laughing weasel
    DO NOT CALL BACK. They are under a lot of pressure so they will ask why you wont and lay the most horrific guilt trips on you. You are responsible for taking care of yourself for you and those who care about you dont overextend yourself. It is hard to set limits but you have to. good luck

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